Due to the muted numbers, the overall wireless subscriber base too declined to 1186.72 million in August, against 1186.84 million in July, data shared by Trai said.
Reliance Jio continues to add maximum wireless subscribers among mobile firms for seven straight months, but the momentum slowed down in August. For instance, during the month, Jio added just 6.49 lakh, or about 0.65 million, subscribers as against 6.52 million in July. The decline in additions was also seen by Bharti Airtel, which added 1.38 lakh subscribers in August against 1.94 million in July. Vodafone Idea continued its losing spree, though the rate has declined. In August, it lost 8.33 lakh subscribers as against 1.43 million in July.
Due to the muted numbers, the overall wireless subscriber base too declined to 1186.72 million in August, against 1186.84 million in July, data shared by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said.
However, when it comes to 4G subscribers, the situation is very different. During August, Bharti Airtel has added a strong 4.4 million subscribers. Vodafone Idea though lost 4.5 lakh 4G subscribers in August. It must be mentioned here that Jio only has 4G subscribers, while Bharti and Vodafone Idea offer 2G, 3G and 4G services, though 3G is being shut down across the country. As per analysts, the muted numbers for wireless additions can be attributed to the recent prepaid tariff hikes by Bharti and Vodafone Idea. In late July, both the telcos had increased their monthly base packs tariffs, making Rs 79 the entry pack.
The impact of the hike was witnessed by low-paying rural customers, who decided to leave the network, the analysts added.
In contrast, analysts said that Jio’s muted numbers could be due to the Covid-led situation. The company has earlier extended the validity of Jio Phone users and was also giving one free recharge to such users. Due to the freebies, many Jio Phone users remained on the network but in August, as there was no such offer, the gross additions came down, the analysts added.
Jio though has improved handsomely when it comes to active subscribers, increasing its lead with Bharti. As on August, Jio has 350.63 million active wireless subscribers as against 346.84 million of Bharti. For the last couple of months, Jio has been beating Bharti in active wireless subscribers.
In terms of wireless broadband users, Jio’s base stood at 443.86 million, followed by Bharti at 202.27 million, Vodafone Idea at 123.52 million. The MNP requests have also been consistently high for the past few months. The MNP requests stood at 11.28 million in August.
In August, Jio overtook Bharti to become the second largest wireline broadband provider with 240,000 additions. Bharti added 150,000 wireline broadband subscribers. As in August, the wireline broadband base of BSNL stood at 5.49 million, followed by 3.71 million of Reliance Jio, 3.69 million of Bharti, 1.95 million of ACT and 1.08 million of Hathway Cable.